There's an old saying about certain European luxury cars, that if you want to buy one, you need to be able to buy two because the maintenance will double your outlay. Sporty luxury cars can be fussy, and their parts and labor aren't cheap.
But what does it cost, really?
Writing for Jalopnik, Doug DeMuro laid out his experience owning a used Aston Martin Vantage V8. He bought the car for the relatively accessible price of $45,000 (2007 MSRP was around $126,000), and tested once and for all whether the old adage is purely theoretical. While DeMuro didn't shell out an additional $45,o00, he learned that an Aston Martin is going to be expensive no matter what.
The first month of ownership proved problematic, something that DeMuro attributes to the car having sat on the dealer's lot for seven months. Thanks to the foresight of a $3,800 certified pre-owned warranty, he didn't have to pay $5,498 worth of repairs that included a major timing issue.
After the break-in period, the roads weren't so bumpy, but every year means a $1,400 service, with a $3,000 service every few years. And the gas milage wasn't that good.
It's a little early to tell how DeMuro's Aston Martin will stack up against other cars, but Priceonomics crunched the data from YourMechanic, an online mechanic provider, to give the matter some perspective. Here are 30 major brands by 10-year estimated maintenance costs. The precise size of the data set is unknown, but YourMechanic calls it "massive."
Interestingly, Lexus—a luxury brand—is at the bottom with its manufacturer's less-expensive brand, Toyota. On the other hand, the Honda/Acura and Volkwagen/Audi pairings are further apart—especially in the German automaker's case. Check out the list and other data on common car issues on the Priceonomics' blog.